All 14,733 teachers who were initially delocalized have been accepted and transferred by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), which also disclosed new standards it now uses to evaluate teacher transfers.
Aside from the factors listed in the Code of Regulation for Teachers (CORT) under Regulation 64, the Commission now takes into account the age of the teacher, health status, teachers with alternative abilities, transfers on promotion, proximity to home county, size and performance of the school, category of schools, and family consideration.
On February 14, 2023, the Commission’s Secretary and CEO, Dr. Nancy Macharia, testified before the National Assembly’s Education Committee that when carrying out the transfers,the Commission has made a decision to exempt all teachers who are aged 56 years and above from transfer outside their current counties.
Others exempted are those teachers who have proven cases of health or medical conditions.
“The Commission evaluates each case on its own merit taking into consideration availability and accessibility of medical facilities among other factors,” Dr. Macharia told the legislators.
The Commission has further ordered that all teachers who are disabled and who possess the required certifications be exempt from transfers outside of their home counties. The Commission claims that this decision has lessened the difficulties that these teachers may have previously experienced when posted to locations outside of their home counties.
In order to fill schools with capable administrators, according to TSC, it was necessary to transfer teachers who had been promoted following a rigorous competitive process. Additionally, it put in place mechanisms to take the location of the new school into account.
“This has resulted in transfers being undertaken within the area of same environmental conditions, cultural orientation and geographical set up to ensure that service delivery is sustained,” said Dr. Macharia.
With signing of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and public schools being categorized into various categories such as national, extra county and county schools with grading structure also categorizing the specific grades, qualifications and competencies for such schools; TSC notes that transfers have taken the same into consideration.
According to the Commission, requests for transfers or re-routing on account of joining spouse or family are often given fair consideration on individual basis, based on other criteria governing the teaching service.
“The Commission has ensured that to support family values, couples who are employees of the Commission and have declared their marital status are not separated but where possible are transferred in the same neighborhood,” she added.
Following its inclusion in the CBAs that teachers’ unions and the TSC negotiated and signed in October 2016 and which were subsequently registered at the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) in November of that same year, the TSC began implementing the delocalization of teachers in 2018.
In the relevant section of the CBA, it was stated that “the Commission shall attempt to de-localize the administration of public educational institutions when undertaking deployment.”
But, teachers’ unions and other stakeholders opposed the policy’s implementation.
“To address the issues raised during implementation of the delocalization policy the Commission stopped implementation of the delocalization policy, has and continues to transfer teachers who apply for transfers back to their home counties. It should be noted that transfer is a continuous exercise pursuant to availability of vacancies and suitable replacements,” said Dr. Macharia.
The TSC head further indicated that the Commission has initiated evaluation of the CORT, 2015 to address the developing concerns in the teaching sector.
In implementing the transfers, the Commission, in accordance with Regulation 64 of CORT, takes into account the need for equitable distribution and optimal teacher utilization, the presence of a vacancy in the proposed station, the requirement for a replacement, the staffing standards currently in place, as well as any other grounds the Commission may deem necessary. These grounds may include medical ones that are confirmed by a registered medical practitioner.